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"to improve the civil service of the United States"

An Act to regulate and improve the civil service of the United States (Pendleton Act), January 16, 1883 (detail)
Following the assassination of President James A. Garfield by a disgruntled job seeker, Congress passed the Pendleton Act, establishing a merit-based system of selecting government officials and supervising their work. It was signed into law on January 16, 1883, by President Chester A. Arthur, who had become an ardent reformer after Garfield’s assassination.

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Today’s Document from the National Archives

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